Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Young Ralph Cross

A breather after riding up from Westerdale. Not the highest part of the Moors — that falls to Round Hill on Urra Moor — but it certainly has that feel about it.

Young Ralph Cross has stood for centuries guiding and reassuring the weary traveller1‘Wayside Cross and Boundary Marker Known as Young Ralph on Westerdale Moor, Westerdale – 1012891 | Historic England’. 2012. Historicengland.org.uk <https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1012891?section=official-list-entry> [accessed 22 September 2022].

Nowadays, most folk don’t stop on the busy Castleton to Hutton-le-Hole road, so won’t adhere to the old custom of that “every passer-by who is thankful for what they have should place a coin on the arm of the cross to ensure future success2‘Diary of a Yorkshireman | Yorkshire Evening Post | Wednesday 02 May 1934 | British Newspaper Archive’. 2022. Britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk <https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000273/19340502/173/0006> [accessed 22 September 2022]. A future traveller in need would take money left there, but woe betide the man who takes from the cross if not need.

And it’s not just any coin; the legend is that the coin has to an half-penny, not a whole penny but a half-penny.

The legend probably originates from the days prior to the Reformation when the money would have been left for the benefit of the parish priest.

If the legend is honoured now, it is likely to be in the breach than in the observance. My excuse today was that I am too old to try shimmying up an 8 foot high stone cross.







3 responses to “Young Ralph Cross”

  1. Peter Astle avatar
    Peter Astle

    I hope you didn’t trip and injure yourself on the sea of memorial tat which litters the vicinity! (Same at Old Ralph.) Why do people feel it necessary to express their private grief in public places such as this as if it were their own private shrine?

    1. Fhithich avatar

      Didn’t see that much today. Council must have cleared it up.

  2. John avatar

    Don’t be doing any shimmying. I think at least one of the times the cross was broken in the ’60s was somebody climbing up for the money.
    You don’t want to be the man who brought down the emblem of the national park.

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